7 Things to Do in Mt Cook with Kids

© NZPocketGuide.com

Family Activities in Mt Cook

In the heart of the Southern Alps, home to majestic snow-capped mountains and epic glaciers, the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park offer a detour on the South Island that you won’t regret. Even if you’re travelling with little ones, the short walks, awe-inspiring stargazing tour and boat tours on a glacier lake allow you to embrace the alpine wonders of this World Heritage Area. Check out all the ways to experience it with the family in tow in this list of things to do in Mt Cook with kids!

For more trip-planning guidance, see The Guide to Mt Cook for Families and 8 Best Family Accommodation in Mt Cook.

1. See the Tasman Glacier on the Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier Lake Track

Families on a budget will find that the short walks around Mt Cook are a great way to enjoy the scenery for free. While the three-hour Hooker Valley Walk is a popular choice, families looking for something better suited to kids should venture up the Tasman Valley Road. There, you’ll find the Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier View Track. The 40-minute return walk features spectacular views of the Tasman Glacier and its lake full of icebergs. Branching off the Blue Lakes Track, the Tasman Glacier Lake Track is a flat one-hour walk to get another perspective of the terminal lake of the Tasman Glacier.

Location: Tasman Glacier Car Park, Tasman Valley Road, approximately 8km (5 miles) from Mt Cook Village.

7 Things to Do in Mt Cook with Kids© Unsplash

2. Roam Around in the Forest on the Governors Bush Walk

For a family-friendly walk that offers something different, the Governors Bush Walk delves into stunning beech forest where kids may be able to spot fantail birds and kea parrots. The walk takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and is accessible from Mt Cook Village. For more free walks like this, see the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Mt Cook.

Location: Mt Cook Village Public Shelter, 59 Bowen Drive, Mt Cook Village.

7 Things to Do in Mt Cook with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

3. Check Out a Planetarium and Use Powerful Telescopes on a Stargazing Tour

Wrap up an epic day in Aoraki Mt Cook with a mesmerising and educational experience with Big Sky Stargazing. Kids love the Dome Planetarium during the first part of their stargazing tour, which orientates you with the night’s sky in the Southern Hemisphere. Then you’ll be transported to their secret stargazing spot where you’ll get to observe the night’s sky of an International Dark Sky Reserve using powerful telescopes! Check out what you might see in What to Look for When Watching the Stars in New Zealand.

Location: The Hermitage Hotel, 89 Terrace Road, Mt Cook Village.

7 Things to Do in Mt Cook with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

4. Take the Skies in a Helicopter and Ski Plane

See the towering mountains, rivers of ice and dramatic valley landscapes from a whole different perspective! Take the kids to play in the snow atop the Tasman Glacier with INFLITE Experiences and their Ultimate Alpine Experience. Soar over the Tasman Valley in a ski plane and touch down on the upper snowfields of the glacier where you’ll get time to jump out into the snow. Swap aircraft from ski plane to helicopter (or vice versa) for a whole new exciting experience on the way back to base.

Location: Mt Cook Airport, Mt Cook Road, approximately 5km (3 miles) from Mt Cook Village.

7 Things to Do in Mt Cook with Kids© INFLITE Experiences

5. Whiz Around a Glacier Lake with Giant Icebergs on a Boat Tour

On the terminal lake of New Zealand’s largest glacier, Glacier Explorers takes you and your family to encounter giant icebergs that have broken away from the Tasman Glacier. The tour begins with a 30-minute walk on a gravel track with a steady gradient before embarking on a MAC boat that has been custom-made to navigate the ever-changing lake. Learn about the interesting formation of the glacier lake – the only one of its kind accessible in New Zealand – and its changeable nature from your guide.

Location: Terrace Road, Mt Cook Village.

7 Things to Do in Mt Cook with Kids© Unsplash

6. Check Out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

If you find yourself in Mt Cook on a rainy day, then make this an opportunity to visit Mt Cook’s only museum. A tribute to the New Zealander who was one of the first to summit Mt Everest, the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre tells the story of his life and training, some of which was on the surrounding mountains. The centre also houses local transport, mountaineering and hotel memorabilia. Catch one of the educational shows on the 2D and 3D Dome Planetarium cinema too!

Location: The Hermitage Hotel, 89 Terrace Road, Mt Cook Village.

7 Things to Do in Mt Cook with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

7. Relax in a Family-friendly Restaurant

Piggybacking on the theme that you might find yourself in Mt Cook when it’s raining; if all else fails, you can always relax with a bite to eat in Mt Cook. While restaurants are limited, the most family-friendly options in the village is the Chamois Bar & Grill and The Old Mountaineers’ Cafe, both with children’s menu and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the majestic scenery of the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. Alternatively, relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy cafe delights or fish and chips at the Tasman Delta Cafe in Glentanner.

Location: Chamois Bar & Grill – Glencoe Access Road, Mt Cook Village. The Old Mountaineers’ Cafe – Larch Grove, Mt Cook Village. Tasman Delta Cafe – Glentanner Park, approximately 22km (14 miles) from Mt Cook Village.

7 Things to Do in Mt Cook with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

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